How you do your makeup is totally up to you—and if you happen to be a lover of more low-key looks, this one's for you. Understanding the art of using makeup products that are solely meant to enhance your natural beauty is empowering. The no-makeup makeup phenomenon has been taking over the runways for years now. Even millennial-based brands like Glossier encourage skin first, makeup second. Instead of perfectly done-up makeup, everyone's praising natural beauty.
So, we talked to four celebrity makeup artists to see how they approach the minimal makeup look on their star-studded clientele. The common thread seems to be starting with your foundation, the skin, and building from there. Keep moisturizing skincare products in your arsenal and combine them with cream- and liquid-based products to keep your look very lit from within. And here are four different ways to keep your natural glow looking its best.
"I love using the Cheek and Lip Balm, especially for a no-makeup makeup look, because it's sheer and gives skin a healthy sheen with no shimmer," Johnston explains. "I use this when I apply more foundation or concealer (for days I want fuller coverage), to keep my skin looking translucent and not heavy."
"I mix the tinted moisturizer with my regular moisturizer from La Mer ($85), so the formula becomes even sheerer," explains Johnston. "I apply it just how my facialist applies moisturizer, by dappling it with my fingertips and blending it in really well. This technique evens out my skin tone, without looking like I applied too much product. Bonus: I also give myself a mini face massage with this."
"I love to darken brows a touch to add some depth," says Johnston. "Good brows pull everything together, and this product is easy to use while still looking completely natural."
"No-makeup makeup starts with a good skincare regimen," explains Martin. "My products of choice for balanced complexion is to exfoliate, tone, and hydrate. I always start makeup using Honest Beauty's Clarifying Toner. This removes dead skin, hydrates, and neutralizes pH on the surface of the skin."
"Afterward, I use Dior's Capture Youth Glow Booster Illuminating Serum," says Martin. "This adds 'bounce' and radiance to the skin."
"I finish the complexion using Joanna Vargas's Daily Hydrating Cream," explains Martin. "This locks in the moisture and sets my canvas for what I use on top. From here, I assess the coverage I need to do now with makeup, covering up any pimples and evening out redness."
"I just discovered Tatcha's Silk Canvas, and I use this on the T-zone to minimize and blur pores. I'm obsessed with this product. I use my fingers to lay this down onto the skin," says Martin.
"Next, I use this foundation from Dior to even out discoloration and skin tone," explains Martin. "I use a fluffy concealer brush all over the face for this so I can spot-treat what I need. Since it's full-coverage and water-based, this melds well with the skincare."
"Once the complexion is set, I'll use Honest Beauty's Blurring Powder to set everything in the T-zone. I want the skin to keep glowing, so setting the T-zone only minimizes the shine where you don't want to look oily," says Martin.
"To achieve a minimal makeup look, I always start with really well-prepped skin," says Scintu. "The skin's health is the most important part of this kind of makeup look. You are halfway there when the skin is well prepped. I begin with the Suqqu Face Stretch Mask, which contains soluble collagen to plump up the skin. Leave this on for 10 to 15 minutes for maximum absorption."
"Then, I'll use Omorovicza's Omoressence for extra hydration, and their Perfecting Lip Balm ($45). At this point, wrinkles have disappeared, and skin is looking beautiful already," says Scintu.
"I love Niod's Photography Fluid, which contains nono-prismatic particles to refract light and balance out skin tone. I use my fingertips to blend into skin. This gives a really natural, glowing finish to the skin, leaving it dewy and instantly radiant," says Scintu.
"Instead of using concealer, I like to use Oxygenetix foundation in any areas that need coverage, like under the eyes and on any blemishes, but leaving the luminosity of the Niod photography fluid untouched on the rest of the face," explains Scintu. "Once dry, this foundation does not move (like other foundations or concealers do), so it's great for long wear. It also blends beautifully."
"I like to use Suqqu's Extra Glow lipstick in No. 2 for the cheeks and the lips," Scintu suggests. "On the cheeks, this lipstick gives a pink dewy flushed finish to the skin—it's very natural-looking in texture too. Apply it with your fingertips and blend it out. Add a little color to the lips for a juicy looking finish. Using cream-based products instead of powder-based products have more of a natural finish. For a natural makeup look, I would avoid powder blush."
"Use Jurlique Rose Silk finishing powder on the T-zone, only to mattify where need be," Scintu recommends. "This powder is so finely milled that you cannot see it on the skin, so very natural-looking. Its also completely biodynamic and contains rose, which has naturally repairing properties.
"Finish by curling the lashes, and that's it: a perfectly dewy natural makeup look. For this natural makeup look, it's all about the blending of products and keeping the makeup to the minimum. Just use what you need, and the skin will do the talking."
"Embryolisse Lait Cream helps prep the skin," says Collado, who is the director of beauty specialties at Ricky's NYC. "You want to pat this product on the skin to help prime the skin for foundation or tinted moisturizer. It's light in texture and quickly absorbs while the skin instantly feels plumped, soothed, and hydrated."
"Tinted moisturizers are great for a no-makeup makeup look, such as the Nyx Tinted Moisturizer," suggests Collado. "You can also mix the Embroyolisse Lait Cream with a foundation of your choice to make it a bit sheerer."
"You can apply these with a damp Beautyblender sponge for the most natural look," suggests Collado. "You want to stay away from all powders, and the goal is to have dewy glowing skin, so you want to swap any powder products for creams, gels, or glosses."
"You can use an eyebrow pencil lightly, such as the Nyx Microbrow Pencil, to fill in your brows, which also has a brush on the other size to help groom them," says Collado.
"For blush, you want to opt for a cream blush such as the LA Girl Cream Blush sticks, which are practical and super easy to use," explains Collado. "You simply dab this under your cheekbones and just blend it out with your fingers. This gives you the right amount of color while still looking natural."
"You want to apply a liquid or cream highlighter to the skin to give your skin a nice glow," explains Collado. "To achieve this, you can go for The Balm liquid highlighter, which is a creamy yet lightweight highlighter that comes with a wand, and you can just dab it on to your cheekbones. It's buildable, so you can either give yourself a subtle or beaming glow."
"As for lips, I would suggest going for natural lip color that is one or two shades darker than your natural lip color or a lip balm with a hint of color such as the Korres Tinted Lip Balm," says Collado.
"And to finish and set your makeup, you want to go for a dewy finish setting spray such as the Nyx dewy finishing spray," Collado says.
Now that you have four different MUA-approved minimal makeup looks, you're officially a pro.